A portion of Houston’s firefighters’ pension fund’s $4 billion portfolio has been allocated to crypto.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund purchased $25 million in bitcoin and ether from the New York Digital Investment Group.
As of June 2020, the Texas comptroller’s office shows the pension fund held more than $4.1 billion in total net assets, which means that approximately 0.6% of its portfolio is allocated to digital assets.
Ajit Singh, chief investment officer of the fund, said the fund has been studying this asset class for quite some time, “It simply became too important to ignore.”
He added, “Taking into account the increasing number of institutional adoptions, there will be an increase in supply and demand dynamics. Our physical assets will provide us with income generation potential in the future.”
A total of 6,600 active firefighters and retirees as well as their surviving families are covered by the fund.
The fund is made up of more than half common equity, plus private equity, bonds, cash, and real estate.
The retirement plan provider, ForUsAll, gave its clients the option to invest up to 5% of their portfolios in cryptocurrencies in June, saying that U.S. citizens would lose out if they were not allowed to invest in crypto assets.
As institutional buyers begin to enter the bitcoin market in 2020, pension funds are following. Among the 36% of financial institutions surveyed by Fidelity Investments last year, cryptocurrencies and derivatives were part of their portfolios. Nearly 25% of respondents said they owned bitcoin, while 11% said they owned Ether (ETH).
Greyscale also reported earlier this year that pension funds and endowments have invested heavily in its crypto-related funds.